Your Garden Checklist: May

Your Garden Checklist: May

Calling all green fingers! Summer is on the way, meaning it's time to get ready for the growing season and look forward to enjoying more time outside - with longer (and sunnier) days, the garden feels full of life once more.

No Mow May

May kicks off Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign. Leave the margins of your garden untidy, mow much less grass, let the weeds thrive. In particular the nectar rich native flowers such as Dandelion, a feast for bees and other plant pollinators. 

At the end of the month, join in with their “Every Flower Counts” survey. You'll receive your very own “nectar score” and help Plantlife learn more about the health of the nations’ wild flowers.

Join in with No Mow May here



In The Garden

May is a glorious time of the year in the English garden, with the blossoming fruit trees and hedges foaming with hawthorn. The cold November days planting hundreds of bulbs seems a distant memory now that the garden is a riot colour once more. Along with the tasks we will be doing this month, take time to take in the beauty of May....the birds are building their nests in the habitats we've created, and bees are buzzing around collecting nectar in the plants we've tended.

Our factory garden Jayne, shares what jobs and tasks you can get up to in the garden this month.

Prick out your seedlings 

If you sowed seeds in April they should be ready for pricking out during May. Allow the seedlings to develop a couple of 'true leaves' then very gently, holding a pair of leaves, tease the seedling of  the tray and repot into individual pots. This allows the plant to develop a strong root system and become a productive plant ready to plant out in the garden.

I will be taking basal cuttings this month from some of the herbaceous perennials. It's a great way to increase the plants you really enjoy in your garden as, unlike collecting seed, they are true to the parent plant. I remove a little of the soil around the base of the plant and using a sharp knife cut a stem as low down as possible. I remove all but one of the leaves, pot the stem up, water well and cover with a clear lid. The cuttings should root in around four weeks and may even flower this season.  My favourites for this type of propagation are Lupins, Delphinium and Veronicastrum.


Protect & Water

The Weather...a national talking point! During May we can still expect a night time frost so keep some kind of protection to hand and cover any tender plants.

The last couple of weeks in April have been quite dry and as the garden awakens a regular watering is essential if there is no rain forecasted. Water in the morning as the slugs and snails are most active at night and the wet surfaces just help them to surf straight to vulnerable new shoots!


Fruit & Vegetables

Whether you consider Rhubarb a fruit or a veg May is its month. The tender new stems are perfect right now and whether you fancy making a crumble,  jam, a composite for your morning yogurt or maybe  just cubed and frozen to pop in a G&T…

Mint! You can so easily grow it, and as well as being a boon in many recipes, you’ll also be able to make your own mint tea.